TV Review: The Boys - Season 2
The Boys - Season 2 is bigger, bolder and more profound than Season 1.
By Dan Dubon | 10/31/20
After Watching the series second season finale i'm under the impression that "The Boys” from Amazon Prime Video can do no wrong. How many subjects the show can explore while still staying coherent is astounding. Perhaps it is because the show delights in crude humor and satire that oscillates from talking about neo-Nazism and moral profiteering to impaling a whale in the most glorious way possible with a speedboat.
Of the many highlights from Season 2, as the series' devious new social media-literate member of The Seven, maybe none is more unforgettable than the debut of Aya Cash's Stormfront. In every scene, especially when she is paired with Homelander-first as a manipulative competitor and then as a partner in crime and messed-up love interest, Cash's charisma shines through. As the two actors shared uncanny chemistry throughout, Antony Starr also provides a riveting performance alongside her.
Plus, Season 2 offered a welcome change of pace after seeing Homelander harass almost every other member of The Seven around (minus Black Noir, of course), as we begin to see his already unstable mental state deteriorate even more as he first tries to recreate and then refuses his link with the late Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue).
While the tale of Homelander and Stormfront soared for much of Season 2, less memorable adventures were given to some members of The Seven. For instance, Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) was mostly relegated to the emotional punching bag of Homelander when he attempted to sabotage her relationship. Seeing him drive her to the breaking point finally resulted in Maeve going into complete "I don't give a s * * * mode," but it became tiresome quickly, and until the finale, Maeve didn't get her time to shine until the season finale.
The Deep and Jessie T. Usher's A-Train from Chace Crawford fall into a similar camp, as their interactions with the Collective's Scientology-like Church to help them get back into The Seven never felt genuinely meaningful. The Deep gave us some great comic moments to be honest, including his quest for a wife accepted by the Church and his lamentations about the death of a beloved aquatic friend. Even so, it felt as though The Deep and A-Train's storyline was part of another show and had very little bearing on what was happening with the rest of the ensemble.
Karl Urban's Billy Butcher had the most screen time of the show in terms of The Boys themselves. Over the years, Urban has shown that he can successfully portray hardened people in Dredd, Lord of the Rings, and even Star Trek, but one of the most surprising aspects of Season 2 is the strong moments of character-building scattered throughout as he reunited with his wife Becca (Shantel VanSanten), who was presumed dead until the finale of last season. One of the best scenes of Butcher happens when he confronts with his estranged father (expertly portrayed by Lord of the Rings and Fringe alum John Noble). Here, we get a glimpse at the source of Butcher's anger, and even though the scene lasts just a few minutes, it carries a lasting impact on Butcher's character moving forward. His big-brother/little-brother dynamic with Hughie is another endearing plot thread in Season 2, as well as his newfound responsibility to Becca's son, Ryan.
Season 2 of The Boys continues its excellent way of combining its humor, over-the-top action, and character growth into a cohesive force of awesomeness. While there are a few lackluster plots that are never resolved, there are a number of important moments scattered around. The palpable chemistry of Homelander and Stormfront, coupled with the humanizing character growth of Billy Butcher, reveals how good showrunner Eric Kripke and his team are at producing an entertaining story that has Plenty of stylized drama and shocking surprises, but also tons of heart.